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Creating the perfect summer day for you and the kiddos isn’t an easy feat in the most normal of times – and these times are anything but normal. That’s why Free Fun in Austin has partnered with happyly to offer you a bevy of curated activities for an active family day. It’s our mission to inspire fun and safe summer outings so you can spend less time planning and more time playing.
Before we continue, we want to remind you that with the rise of Covid-19, it’s best to stay home. We encourage you to consider the safety of yourself and your neighbors. Our family fun day features will remain online as a reference that you can access when you are able to safely experience the highlighted locations. Please note that all Austin parks will be closed Friday, July 3, through Sunday, July 5, for Fourth of July weekend due to Covid-19; this includes Boggy Creek Greenbelt and Secret Beach/ Roy Guerrero Park.
Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.
Let’s go to the farm!
Adventure to Boggy Creek Farm
Bust out the straw hats and denim shorts for a refreshing morning on a lovely urban farm. Located in the heart of East Austin, the historic Boggy Creek Farm invites guests to “take a step back in time, walk the grounds, see the crops, smell the flowers!” It’s fun for the whole fam, and a great opportunity to teach kids about where food comes from and how delicious fresh veggies taste!
Open four days a week – on market days (Wednesday through Saturday) – visitors can explore farm life via free, self-guided tours of the five-acre property before stocking up on luscious seasonal produce (The farmhouse, which is the home of the owners, is not open to self-guided explorers). During your excursion, expect to cross paths with Buddy the farm dog, and the many chickens that call Boggy Creek home – rumor has it they have 150 chickens roaming the grounds. Have the little ones keep count!
Not only is Boggy Creek a great introduction to farms – it was one of the first urban farms in the U.S. too! – it’s an historic site. The Farmhouse is supposedly one of the two oldest, still-existing homes in Austin. Research suggests the house has been around since the 1840s, just like The French Legation, which is also in East Austin. To learn more about the farm’s history, visit the website for an in-depth read, which includes documentation of an 1841 visit from Sam Houston, a leader of the Texas Revolution who was elected president of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and 1841. The website also pays tribute to the Black slaves who constructed the house and “worked the fields of this antebellum plantation.”
Take advantage of the morning hours – the farm is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – as an excuse to get outside before the Texas sun gets too hot for little humans to handle.
Things to know before you go:
Boggy Creek Farm is currently taking extra safety precautions in light of COVID-19. Social distancing is enforced and masks are required if and when entering food tents and farm stands. Hands must be sanitized before shopping and visitors should not touch cell phones or personal belongings while perusing the shelves. They ask that you only use their sanitized baskets for collecting produce. At check out, shoppers should follow cashier instructions.
For adults seeking more hands-on entertainment, Boggy Creek also offers guided tours for a charge. The minimum for an hour-long kid-friendly tour of the grounds or the house is $100; they also offer a two-hour guided tour of both the property and the house for a minimum charge of $200 for up to ten people. However, the house tour is better for adults and teenagers. According to the website, “until further notice, tours will be limited to small groups.”
Boggy Creek Farm
Location: 3414 Lyons Road, Austin
Hours: Market Days are Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Price: Self-guided tours – free for all ages; one hour guided farm tours for children or a guided tour of the farmhouse – $10 per person, with a $100 minimum.
Refuel at Marcelino’s
It’s no secret, Austin is all about the breakfast taco and some of the best in town can be found just down the street from Boggy Creek Farm at Marcelino’s. Whether you’re looking for a portable breakfast before your visit or a post-exploring brunch, this hole-in-the-wall spot will please all with its build-your-own style menu. But be warned, they sell out and close at noon.
Currently, masks are required to enter – even for pick up. Call ahead for to-go orders and expect a 15-minute wait for your meal.
Location: 901 Tillery Street, Austin
Hours: Daily 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Price: Ranges from $2.77- to $11.55
Explore some more at East Austin Succulents
Before heading home to make a scrumptious dinner with your Boggy Creek bounty, keep exploring nature on the east side. Just down the street from Marcelino’s, you’ll find a garden nursery gem: East Austin Succulents. Trust us, this is not your average plant store. Teaming with cacti, succulents, leafy greens, fruit trees, and colorful flowers, this large outdoor space never fails to disappoint.
According to their website, East Austin Succulents is open limited hours daily due to the coronavirus, so they are only taking individual appointments. They ask that you text them at (512) 701-3448 for availability and they’ll set up a time for you to come in and shop.
East Austin Succulents
Location: 801 Tillery Street, Austin
Hours: Limited hours daily, text (512) 701-3448 to set up a time to shop
Price: Free to enter
Cool off with Juiceland and Boggy Creek Greenbelt
By now you and the kids are hot. We know, it’s Texas in the summer. Cool off with a refreshing smoothie or juice from Juiceland. The local chain can be found all over Austin, but Eastside Succulents is a short (around five minute) drive to the Cesar Chavez location. Order at the window and take it to go.
We like to sip our Strawberry Mylkshakes and Morning Sunshines at the Boggy Creek Greenbelt. Park at the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center and enjoy the park’s shaded, grassy areas. A short trail runs through the park and will keep you fairly protected from the direct sun. It is perfect for strollers, bikes, and walkers.
Location: 2601 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (opens at 8 a.m. on Sundays)
Boggy Creek Greenbelt
Location: 808 Nile Street, Austin
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Consider Wading at Secret Beach
If you’re craving a body of water, try your luck finding Secret Beach – it’s not so secret anymore – at Roy G. Guerrero Park. Follow the trail from the parking lot and keep right at two different forks. You’ll hit the beach in no time.
Water at the Secret Beach is often dependent on recent rainfall, so if it’s been a dry month the water may be low and still. Swimming isn’t allowed, but it can be enjoyable to wade in. The spot is also a popular spot for off-leash dogs and can get a little rowdy in the late afternoons so we recommend a morning excursion.
Location: 400 Grove Blvd at the Montopolis Youth Sports Complex lot, Austin
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Happyly is the country’s only mobile-first family activity planning app focused on helping families live their best life.
We are passionate about supporting families in a fulfilling, balanced, and active outdoor lifestyle. How? By developing resources and delivering inspiration to fit your personal needs, whether it be for planning an afternoon or a long journey. With the help of happyly, you will save hours of wasted time planning, as well as the frustration and disappointment your tribe feels when your plans don’t turn out as you hoped.
By doing the leg work and endorsing our favorite activities based on first-hand knowledge, our expert team saves valuable time for our community, empowering parents to be fully present when it matters most. Working parents spend an average of twelve waking hours a week with their children. When you break it all down, it’s not a lot. So even just one or two hours a week spent searching or planning is just too many. Let us help you spend less time planning and more time experiencing life together.
If you have ideas for our next installment in our Family Fun Day Austin Series, we welcome them at [email protected]. Enjoying our content? Please download the free happyly app for fast access to all of our blog content, favorite activities, and expertly designed curated days, both locally and in many communities and travel destinations across the country.